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“A ray of sunshine in the suburbs”
Review of 80 Thoreau

80 Thoreau
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Ranked #2 of 50 Restaurants in Concord
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$31 - US$50
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: Thoreau and Sudbury
Transit: Take the Commuter Rail to Concord on the Fitchburg Line. 80 Thoreau is located on the 2nd Floor of the Concord Depot.
Description: 80 Thoreau is a progressive fine dining restaurant set in the beautiful New England town of Concord, sourcing from local farms and offering genuine hospitality.
Reviewed 1 July 2014

Went here for our anniversary. We had a reservation for 6:45 on a Friday and my wife and I were looking forward to this all week. Friday afternoon I am stuck in traffic up in Gloucester when I get a call from my wife frantically telling me our dog is locked up at the Stow dog pound. My wife canceled our reservation because the animal control officer was on an emergency and couldn't let our whimpering dog out for another hour. Its a busy Friday night at 80 Thoreau so the next available is at 9PM. We're tired, hungry, no-can-do. Pretty much sums up life...and 21 years of marriage.

We get home and we're both in a lousy mood. There are no other special occasion restaurants near us worth going to. Thinking about toast and cheese for dinner, and vegging in front of the TV. Somehow we conjure up the strength to call 80 Thoreau to see if we can somehow make it still happen even if we have to sit and eat in the bar (which we actually enjoy.) I am determined to salvage the evening. They tell us there are a couple of tables free at the moment but after 7PM they can't guarantee they'll be available.

Now here is the key moment I fell in love with this restaurant (and my wife, all over again) - I never mentioned my name and we had no reservation at this point. When we got to 80 Thoreau they found two stools for us at a counter facing into the dining room - not seats facing the bartenders, not a table in the bar area. We skeptically sat by ourselves at this lonely counter. Then, as if the heavens were watching us, a waitress brought us two glasses of Champagne and wished us Happy Anniversary - an instant attitude adjuster and a truly serendipitous moment. Restaurants with service like this don't exist in the suburbs. Attention to detail and the clairvoyant sense to know your customers is something you only find at the truly fine restaurants in the city.

Then after swiftly taking our small bites and drink order, one of the maitre d's came over and quietly told us that two of the tables in the bar would soon be available and they would put us on the the waiting list for the table. 10 minutes later we were deftly transported to our cozy alcove table. All of our servers were confident, friendly, relaxed and easy to talk to. Each conversation with the many servers added to our enjoyment.

You can guess about the food and drink, excellent. Very seasonal soft shell crab, striped bass and lemon curd pie. Oh, and its true, Doris Kearns Goodwin is a regular here.

2  Thank jgitelman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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230 - 234 of 375 reviews

Reviewed 17 June 2014

This place is a hidden gem smack in the middle of concord mass.. the staff is top shelf. The menu is fantastic.. try the chicken you wont be dissapointed..the bartenders are world class mixologists.. ask to get a look a the "reserve wine list.. I'll be back soon..

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2  Thank rka317
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 June 2014

Our second time dining at 80 Thoreau was perhaps even better than the first. It certainly holds its own against more popular and pricier restaurants in Boston and Cambridge. The main dining room over the Concord commuter rail station is open and bright with skylights and windows that bring in lots of natural light on a summer evening. Too bad that someone kept feeling the need to turn the incandescents down as the evening progressed rather than letting the setting sun do its thing.

But the food is what you're coming for. An appetizer of soft-shelled crab with picked green tomatoes and limas was the essence of spring. As was the asparagus soup, although I wonder if the soup might not be better served lightly chilled than hot. The grilled lamb chop with radicchio and walnuts was perfectly cooked and I loved the pan roasted veal. It was delicate, served with a parsnip pancake as well as a ragout of mushroom and peas. It was rich, but far lighter than expected based on our server's description. The meal was well paced and the service was very good.

Everything at 80 Thoreau is solid from start to finish and as the title of this review suggests, it's well worth the 20 - 30 minute drive west to enjoy this restaurant. (I could imagine it would be fun to take the commuter rail line from North Station or Porter out to Concord and back to make an evening of it!)

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3  Thank Filmprof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2014

This restaurant was so needed in Concord where so many people went to Boston for superior food. Its consistently high quality of food, service and wine is a must visit.

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2  Thank DEB C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 June 2014

Whether you are sitting at the bar for some truly professional and educational mixology, sitting at the kitchen-view counter for a tasting menu with pairings and course explanations from the chef, or in the dining room for a romantic dinner, 80 Thoreau is great.

1  Thank John R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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